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Please allow me to introduce myself...

1810 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  rspete
I've been a member of this forum for a little over a month now however this is my first post.
My name is Pete, live in England and have recently become the owner of a 1995 900SS.
I bought the bike via ebay in a rather rash attack of "gorraveone" logic that in the cold light of day perhaps doesn't possess much logic at all!
The bike has been fitted with high comp standard bore pistons and that was about all I knew about it apart from nearly two spare engines and some other odds and sods. (It does have V2 stamped on the heads however I have no reason to think they are from them.)
No brainer bought it on the spot.
Previous owner had pointed out it had been a bit tricky to start and thought it was the starter solenoid.
Not a problem! Easy fix....swapped over solenoid from my Monster. No difference. swapped wiring from battery through to starter. No difference! New cables, no difference. Different battery ditto. Pull starter apart and pick remains of brushes off the floor whilst thinking Aha!! Replace brushes (easily obtained from Ducati dealers, even those who deny their existence, just by asking for part no 067050815) still not playing!!!:confused::mad:
Anyway somedays it starts easily others it tries to kill the battery with the added bonus that if the bike is left for 48hrs the battery is flat anyway! On the bad days just jump it from the car and it runs ok.
Thing is I know I've bought a bit of a lemon however I really rather like it! Just to see how much I rode it over 500 miles last weekend, 250 each way and its great:D
I did however find another problem though which is the rear wheel bearings are on their way out.
Soo... I have a couple of questions
First, can anyone advise on the correct rear wheel bearing size/ type for this model please?
Secondly, what modifications are the most sensible, practical or essential that I could or should look at making?
I have a feeling this could very easily become a money pit if I am not careful:)
Many thanks in advance for any help or advice.
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hi pete, welcome aboard

what battery are you using - does it have enuff crank power???

theres plenty of info here to help you as well as plenty of cluey people.

dont forget also to try www.ducatisti.co.uk for more local help
Hey Pete,

New owner here too. This forum has a been a huge help to me. I am sure somebody much wiser than myself will chime in here soon. I have ignition problems too and started by ordering the Dyna Coils from CA cycle works. I am probably going to order the Silent-Hektik Mono block ignition too. Both of these suggestions from forum members...
Starting issues can be tricky. Does it still have the standard Mikuni carbs or FCR flat slides?

I just upgraded my battery cables with a kit from Desmo Times - they are about twice as thick as standard. It used to turn over as if it had hi comp pistons and now it really whizzes over. On a good day it will fire in about the first full rev. I have the FCR carbs and dyna coils (fitted both at the same time) and have just fitted Iridium plugs too. Using the standard type and size Yuasa battery.

Other things to look for are bad earth but if the starter motor does spin it may not be the problem. One other issue I had was a poor connection in one plug from the ignition sender unit to the black boxes. Engine was running on the horizontal cylinder only. All I did that day was to disconnect it and plug it back in and it hasn't been an issue since.

Still in the dark about the V2 on your heads as I have V1 on mine. Some change may have been made over the years and they used that to tell the difference is my guess.

Better chuck a welcome in there too.
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Check the 2 pin plug connector from the wiring harness to the solenoid. The wire is very light gauge and I know from 1st hand experience that the wire frays or breaks. You might need to rewire these connections.
Sounds like a bad ground on the negative battery cable at the engine.Also check that your fuses are making good contact and free of corrosion.Corrosion is your enemy.
Different take on this but it happened to me. Bike is a 93 Bimota DB2 with FI and has been a bitch to start for ever. I tried all sorts of things and ended up with just screwing in the idle screw! Starts fine. It has no choke and when hot idles fine.
...I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Wooo wooooo...
Secondly, what modifications are the most sensible, practical or essential that I could or should look at making?
I have a feeling this could very easily become a money pit if I am not careful:)
Welcome, and I fear you've come to the wrong place if you need to ask that question :D

Two-valve air cooled Ducatis can become an obsession with some (me included).

You mention hi-comp pistons already, which is a good start. I guess I'd be going for "non engine" related things first.

- An open air box with aftermarket filter. Simply cut the top off your existing airbox, but leave enough around the sides to still attach with the original clips.

- High level end cans. There's loads about, and eBay is probably once again your friend.

- SIL motor Spaghetti exhaust header system. Spareshack is probably the best place to source them in the UK, although the business has changed hands in the last 12 months or so.

That'll probably cover the initial power/torque mods. Next you could look at an Ohlins rear shock and lighter wheels perhaps. After that you're into cracking the engine cases and going down the big bore, port, flow, balance, bigger valves, hotters cams route.

Suddenly you've spent a whole lot of money :D

Ducatisti is mentioned above, there's also the Ducati Sporting Club and Italian Sporting Club in the UK, both forums worth checking out.

The Ducati Sporting Club runs a race series for 600 carbed and 620 injected engine bikes.

I'm racing a 1000SS in the UK's National Endurance series - http://www.kapitalmoto.com I see you're in Norwich, why not come and say hello when we're racing at Snetterton on August 15th. Or we're at Cadwell on July 4th if you fancy the journey.

Check out the bikes on the German Kaemna website - http://www.kaemna.de/cms_en/tu_example.htm

Have fun!
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Many thanks for all your suggestions and advice.

To date I have replaced the wiring between the starter solenoid and starter with new cable also new earth leads between battery and frame and frame to engine.
It is currently running the old cabling between the starter solenoid, two way connector and battery which I will replace shortly.
I have rebuilt the starter with new brushes.
I have also substituted the starter solenoid from my 600 Monster on the 900ss.

When pressing the starter the solenoid appears to work (and on the 600 the starter spins the engine as though it has no plugs fitted.)
The comment about the two pin wire into the starter solenoid is something I will look into further as I suspect this has a potentially poor connection however it has always tried to turn over so I feel it may not be the main cause just a potential problem for the future!

When I try to start the 900 and it fails to fire it tries to crank but its as though it has too much compression and just can't get it over tdc.
On other occasions it fires on the first crank.
Frustrating and worryingly inconsistent!!

The battery I am using, or rather batteries as I keep swapping them over, both seem to be in good order. One of them is a yuasa and I had that charged and checked at work as good.

I think I have two problems here, one of which is typical of wiring on older vehicles, corrosion and poor connections, especially where the previous owner may have meddled with it. Not uncommon with a 14 year old Italian motorcycle!
The other is the battery going flat if unused but left connected on the bike. Means there is a drain somewhere that I have yet to find. Something that doesn't happen on the Monster fortunately (touch wood!)

More than twenty years ago I used to earn my living on Italian motorcycles, mainly Guzzis and Laverdas, so I should have known better than to buy an old Italian motorcycle!!.:D
Still once motorcycling gets in your blood there is no turning back and I have always had a soft spot for Italian bikes:)

Still, when it goes its worth it.

Will update you with my progress.

Thanks again.
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" Please allow me to introduce myself...
...I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Wooo wooooo..."

I can assure you I'm a man of no wealth and with questionable taste!
An update on my battery going flat.
Finally had some time to look at the bike last night and did a quick check for a parasitic drain. First check appears to have revealed the culprit.
My regulator rectifier is pulling more than 4amps. This is almost certainly a failure that has been getting progressively worse however that is a pretty good way of frying a load of other electrical bits so fingers crossed there.

Has anyone got any recommedations on alternative re/rec units?
The one on the bike is an Electrex RR51 unit which I guess is cheaper than a Ducati genuine part.
Anyway now I have an answer to that problem it makes me wonder if all my starting issues are connected. I am also going to go through the whole wiring harness with a fine tooth comb to make sure nothing else is waiting to catch me out!
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